A local film explores the history and people of Polson’s Lake City Bakery

May 12 – Lake County residents will have a rare opportunity this week to see a film produced by local filmmakers about an iconic local business at a local movie theater.

Polson residents David and Jessica King are the husband and wife team behind the 2020 documentary “Burgers, Fries and Family Ties” about the popular and long-running Richwine’s Burgerville on Highway 93 in Polson. The Kings recently turned their attention to the Lake City Bakery along the same freeway near Main Street.

“Baked by Grace” tells the story of the bakery, which quietly celebrated 50 years in business at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The business, owned by Mike and Deneya Humphrey, has been in business for 52 years and chef baker Mike has worked there since he was 10 when his parents ran the business.

Mike, whose grandfathers were both bakers, proudly describes himself as a “third generation baker”. He and Deneya bought the business from his mother, Marilyn Humphrey, in 2016. His work day, five days a week, begins at 3 a.m. when he starts baking donuts in the kitchen downstairs.

In addition to providing a bit of baking history, “Baked by Grace” tells how Mike and Deneya met at a local bar and how they eventually discovered their faith.

“We weren’t living for the Lord,” Mike says in the film. “We did a lot of drugs, a lot of drinking and everything that comes with that lifestyle.”

Deneya describes how Marilyn invited her to church and what a transformational experience it was. After transforming their own lives, the Humphreys devoted much of their energy to helping others transform theirs as well.

The Kings shot “Baked by Grace” for a few days in late February. The documentary consists primarily of interviews conducted with the Humphreys, their staff and their loyal customers within the company. Much of the film focuses on the Humphreys’ faith and commitment to helping others overcome drug and alcohol addiction.

Several staff members are interviewed at length throughout the film, much of that time spent with waiter Kat Perkins, who has her own business plans, and popular foreman Damian Innerbichler. Most people who visit the bakery remember Damian for his infectious positivity, and “Baked by Grace” is about how he came to work for the Humphreys and the role they play in his life.

The film premieres at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 13 at Showboat Stadium 6, 416 Main St., and screenings will continue daily through Thursday, May 19. A trailer for “Baked by Grace”, which is approximately one hour long, is available on Showboat’s website, polsontheatres.com. David King said a Q&A with key people from the film will follow Friday’s premiere screening.

The first coincides with a visit from the Humphreys’ son, Noah, a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. A picture of Noah in his uniform hangs on the wall behind the donut box in the bakery.

The Kings also operate the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (FLIC) film festival in Showboat, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in January.

Jessica was a producer on “Baked by Grace”, while David was a producer/director. They have submitted the film for screenings at upcoming film festivals around the world and the film has already attracted interest from festivals in Vancouver, Rome and Australia.

Gladys T. Hensley